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Process of coating with metal by means of an electric current. Plating metal may be transferred to conductive surfaces (e.g., metals) or to nonconductive surfaces (e.g., plastics, wood, leather) if a conductive coating has been applied. Usually the current deposits a given amount of metal on the cathode (workpiece) and the anode (source of metal) dissolves to the same extent, maintaining a fairly uniform solution. Silver plating is used on tableware, electrical contacts, and engine bearings. The most extensive use of gold plating is on jewelry and watch cases. Zinc coatings prevent the corrosion of steel articles, and nickel and chromium plate are used on automobiles and household appliances. See alsoterneplate, Sheffield plate.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on electroplating, visit Britannica.com.
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